Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Today’s themed answers end with verbs that might be used in describing a ONE-SIDED VICTORY:
- 39A. Not a close game, a headline for which may include the end of 17-, 30-, 46- or 63-Across : ONE-SIDED VICTORY
- 17A. High school infatuation : TEEN CRUSH
- 30A. A few hours for doing whatever : TIME TO KILL
- 46A. Rich coffee lightener : HEAVY CREAM
- 63A. One of two Senate “enforcers” : PARTY WHIP
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
15. Words while anteing : I’M IN
That would be in poker.
20. Slowpoke in a shell : SNAIL
Snails and slugs are referred to collectively as gastropods. There are many, many species of gastropods, found both on land and in the sea. Gastropods with shells are generally described as snails, and those species without shells are referred to as slugs.
Back in the early 1800s, a “poke” was a device attached to domestic animals such as pigs or sheep to keep them from escaping their enclosures. The poke was like a yoke with a pole, and slowed the animal down, hence the term “slowpoke”.
23. Tide table term : NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
26. U.K. flying squad : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
27. Detriment to air quality : SMOG
“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s.
37. Colombian metropolis : CALI
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Calia has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.
38. Capital of Morocco : RABAT
Rabat is the capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco. After WWII, the United States maintained a major Air Force Base in Rabat, part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). Responding to pressure from the Moroccan government of King Mohammed V, the USAF pulled out in 1963.
43. Runway gait : STRUT
That would be a runway at a fashion show.
45. Bobby of hockey : ORR
Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking.
51. Future atty.’s exam : LSAT
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.
58. Coffeehouse flavor : MOCHA
Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave it’s name to the mocha brown color, and to the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.
62. Quarterback’s “Snap the ball at the second ‘hut'” : ON TWO
The quarterback (QB) starts each play in football with a “snap” (also called a “hike”). He announces to his teammates the exact moment of the snap by calling out signals, usually including the word “hut” one or more times in a prearranged sequence.
63. One of two Senate “enforcers” : PARTY WHIP
In the world of politics, the party whip is the “heavy”, the person whose job it is to ensure that party members vote according to party policy. “Whip” comes from “whipping in”, a term used in hunting. Any hounds tending to stray from the pack were “whipped in” to prevent them wandering off. “Whipping in” hounds sounds so cruel. “Whipping in” politicians, not so much …
67. Ohio border lake : ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.
69. Place for road trip luggage : TRUNK
In North America we use the word “trunk” for the storage space in the back of a vehicle as that space is reminiscent of the large travelling chest called a “trunk”. Such trunks used to be lashed onto the back of automobiles before storage was integrated. On the other side of the Atlantic, a trunk is known as a “boot”. The original boot was a built-in storage compartment on a horse-drawn carriage on which a coachman would sit.
71. Scott who sued for his freedom : DRED
The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.
1. Lbs. and oz., e.g. : AMTS
The unit of mass that we know today as a “pound” is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.
2. Personal bearing : MIEN
One’s “mien” is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.
5. Former Russian space station : MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001.
6. Grounded Aussie bird : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …
7. “Swing and a __, strike one” : MISS
That would be in baseball.
8. Available for the job : ON HIRE
I found this example of a usage of the phrase “on hire” in my dictionary: “a thrashing machine went on hire from farm to farm”. It’s a line from Flora Thompson’s trilogy of novels “Lark Rise to Candleford.
10. Like the Mojave : ARID
The Mojave Desert in the southwest is named after the Native American Mohave tribe. Famous locations within the boundaries of the desert, are Death Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada and the ghost town of Calico, California.
11. “The X-Files” agent Scully : DANA
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.
12. Crafts website : ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.
18. MLB’s Indians, on scoreboards : CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.
28. __ Carlo : MONTE
Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.
29. Met performance : OPERA
The Metropolitan Opera (often “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …
31. Gnatlike insect : MIDGE
“Midge” is a familiar term used for many different kinds of small flies
32. Kit__: candy bar : KAT
I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid, as the chocolate confection has been around since the thirties. Kit Kats didn’t hit the shelves in the US until the seventies. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat over in the UK, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.
33. Former Apple laptop : IBOOK
From 1996 to 2006, Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops called iBooks. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.
34. Comedy’s Cable Guy : LARRY
Larry the Cable Guy is the stage name of stand-up comedian and actor Daniel Lawrence Whitney. Larry’s famous catchphrase is “Get-r-done!”
35. Galactic distances: Abbr. : LT YRS
A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a lot shorter distance: about 186,282 miles.
40. Toyota RAV4, e.g. : SUV
The Toyota RAV4 is Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV or “ute” for short). The RAV4 name stands for “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive”. Inventive, huh?
42. PCs, originally : IBMS
The original IBM Personal Computer is model number 5150, which was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981. The term “personal computer” was already in use, but the success of the IBM 5150 led to the term “PC” being used for all computer products compatible with the IBM platform.
47. Top corp. officer : CEO
Chief executive officer (CEO)
52. Acker of “Person of Interest” : AMY
Amy Acker plays Samantha “Root” Groves on the sci-fi TV show “Person of Interest”.
53. Castle protector : MOAT
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.
54. __’acte : ENTR
The term “entr’acte” comes to us from French, and is the interval “between two acts” (“entre deux actes”) of a theatrical performance. It often describes some entertainment provided during that interval.
55. Westernmost Aleutian island : ATTU
Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain, and so is the westernmost part of Alaska. Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians in WWII …
56. Jacob or Esau : TWIN
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).
65. Vietnamese New Year : TET
The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.